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Press Release

Lamor Whitehead, Brooklyn Church Leader, Sentenced To Nine Years In Prison For Fraud, Extortion, And False Statements

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that LAMOR WHITEHEAD was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield to nine years in prison for wire fraud, attempted wire fraud, attempted extortion, and making false statements to federal law enforcement agents.  WHITEHEAD was previously convicted on all charges following a two-week trial.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Lamor Whitehead is a con man who stole millions of dollars in a string of financial frauds and even stole from one of his own parishioners.  He lied to federal agents, and again to the Court at his trial.  Today’s sentence puts an end to Whitehead’s various schemes and reflects this Office’s commitment to bring accountability to those who abuse their positions of trust.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment and the evidence at trial:

WHITEHEAD, who leads a church in Brooklyn, New York, stole from his own parishioners, sought to defraud and extort a businessman, and committed loan fraud.  First, WHITEHEAD induced one of his parishioners to invest approximately $90,000 of her retirement savings with him by promising to use the money to help her buy a home.  He then spent the money on luxury goods and other personal expenses and, when she demanded to be paid back, he continued to lie to avoid returning the money.  Second, WHITEHEAD extorted a businessman for $5,000, then attempted to convince the same businessman to lend him $500,000 and give him a stake in certain real estate transactions in return for favorable actions from the Mayor of New York City, even though WHITEHEAD knew he could not obtain the favors he promised.  Third, WHITEHEAD submitted a fraudulent application for a $250,000 business loan, including doctored bank statements that falsely claimed WHITEHEAD had millions of dollars in the bank and hundreds of thousands of dollars in monthly revenue.  He submitted similar fraudulent applications to various other financial institutions, stealing millions of dollars in the process.  Finally, when speaking with FBI agents who were executing a search warrant outside WHITEHEAD’s mansion in New Jersey, WHITEHEAD falsely claimed that he had no cellphones other than the phone he was carrying when, in fact, WHITEHEAD had and regularly used a second cellphone, which was inside his house at the time.

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In addition to the prison term, WHITEHEAD, 45, of Paramus, New Jersey, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $85,000 in restitution and forfeit $95,000.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica Greenwood, Jane Kim, and Derek Wikstrom are in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase, Lauren Scarff, Shelby Wratchford
(212) 637-2600

Updated June 17, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-216